Aaron Hicks’ season-long struggles now include a hamstring injury and Minnesota’s rookie center fielder has been placed on the disabled list. Oswaldo Arcia, who was demoted to Triple-A two weeks ago despite playing well in 30 games for the Twins, has been called back up to replace Hicks on the roster.
Hicks has recovered from a brutal 2-for-48 start to show some promise at the plate, but he’s still hitting just .179 with a .575 OPS and 56 strikeouts in 55 games overall.
It’ll be interesting to see how manager Ron Gardenhire divvies up the playing time in Hicks’ absence, because Arcia really has no business in center field and the only true center fielder on the Twins’ roster is Clete Thomas. Assuming that Thomas plays every day that means at least one of Arcia, Chris Parmelee, or Ryan Doumit will be on the bench.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.